“You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation…and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.” — Herman Hesse
Love your suffering. I’ve heard this over and over during the past few years. In yoga class. At meditation retreats. At a crazy Friday night kirtan where I sat next to a woman draped in mala beads who sobbed noisily throughout and intermittently cried out “I embrace you, misery!” while waving her hands in the air. I’ve read it in endless books on healing; buddhist, hindu, western. I’ve heard it at seminars, at Kripalu, in therapy. I’ve written the words and stared at them for countless hours. Love. Your. Suffering.
How do I do that?
Do I even want to?
Happiness is here. I’m no longer reveling in nihilism. I’m not holding onto anger. I am no longer dependent for the life of my life on another human being. I’ve walked away quietly into the empty spaces and found, if not enlightenment, then at least balance. I’m headlong into the theory of buddhist peace — I can touch it NOW. Be present in it now. I don’t need to do something now to get somewhere later. I’m here. I love looking in the mirror and recognizing the person who smiles back.
Sure, suffering is still there. I know it is. I’m human. I’m hip to the impermenance of almost any emotion, any experience. Happiness is a promise with a catch, right? Never forget from whence you came? I know that I am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions. I know that my emotions are my responsibility; contrivances with which I am actively complicit. I know that under the surface, there’s still a need to deal. I just like being happy SO much.
So came the flood. I was in urdhva uhanurasana, or backbend pose, this morning. I was rushing through my practice so I could get my day started; a mistake right there. I had left iTunes on and was listening to a playlist I had forgotten about. This song came on. I was completely unprepared for my reaction; shaking wrists, trembling legs. My energy, my chi, just went away, and I collapsed on the floor, tears streaming. It doesn’t take a genius to see the metaphor. I can stand alone, but I don’t want to.
I don’t want to do all of this alone.
The thought feels like a corner.